HE IS RISEN . . . HE IS RISEN INDEED!
I couldn’t resist the beautiful, glowing colors on this Easter card—nor the wonderful truths that Jesus spoke before He went to the Cross. Though we may die, we shall live!
The power of this statement caused a few hundred of us mourners/celebrants at a memorial service yesterday to sing with great joy and assurance at the home-going of Bert and Colleen Elliot.
Many of you probably know the name, Jim Elliot. Along with four other young missionaries, Jim was speared to death by the Auca Indians they longed to reach for Christ. Jim’s wife, Elizabeth Elliot, wrote the book, Through Gates of Splendor, a biography that inspired thousands of Christians to prepare for the mission field.
Bert never achieved the fame of his brother nor did he desire it. His greatest longing, along with his wife, was to share the love of Jesus and the salvation and power that comes through Him. This they did for over sixty years, serving the poorest Indians living alongside the Amazon River, preaching in drug-infested jungles, in steep mountain areas, and in the city where they spent their last season of life.
At the memorial service yesterday, people lined up to speak of these spiritual giants who had passed away within six weeks of each other. Bert and Colleen had no children of their own, but they had countless spiritual children and influenced many more by their deep love for their Savior.
I thank God for the privilege of knowing them and for their example of a life lived fully for Him.
I’m giving away two copies of my new book to celebrate its release today. If you’d like to be included in the drawing, send in your name/address and a comment about what Jesus means to you and why.
This coming week is often called Holy Week , which is the perfect name for this time in the life of Christ that changed history—including your history and mine. In ESPRESSO FOR THE SOUL , you’ll find some thoughts on Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane and what that teaches us about the surrendered life. Then in CHOOSE TO GROW you’ll find some challenging words by another giant of the faith, Puritan John Owen (1616-1683).
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Throughout the Gospels Jesus repeatedly talked about the Cross that lay ahead. When Peter heard Him say that He “must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again” (Mark 9:31-33), he refused to listen to such talk. Jesus’ response made it very clear that Peter didn’t understand what God intended to accomplish through the Cross and resurrection.
Jesus knew what was facing Him, it was not a shock. But it was a time of wrestling in every dimension of His being with all that “the cup” meant. He was deeply distressed, troubled, in agony, and overwhelmed by sorrow.
Praying, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark14:35-36). Jesus embraced what He knew was the Father’s plan for reconciling us to Himself.
Jesus taught the spiritual truth that He lived out at the Cross: “unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24).
The fruit that came from Christ’s death is something every believer has experienced—we’ve been chosen and cherished, redeemed through His blood, forgiven, lavished with grace and goodness, and sealed with the Holy Spirit, among many other blessings (Ephesians l).
What can we learn about the surrendered life from this brief look at Jesus in Gethsemane? Here are a few principles:
- Facing something painful and knowing it is God’s will challenges us to grow in trust.
- Wrestling with God’s will out of our humanity is understood by Him.
- Embracing God’s will is to choose ruthless trust (which we see in Abraham and Isaac, and in Jesus).
- Anticipating that greater fruitfulness will come from your experience is to understand a spiritual principle Jesus taught.
The writer of the book of Hebrews points us to the powerful commitment of Jesus, our supreme example of yielding our will to God. He exhorts: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (12: 2). He goes on to say, “Consider Him… so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Whatever you are facing this week, consider Jesus who faced and embraced the cup the Father gave to Him. Meditate on Him, and ask the Father to comfort you, give you insight, and fill you with a passion to do the Fathers will.
“ So Abraham called that place “The Lord Will Provide” (Gen.22:14). So it is to live in the exercise of faith that if God calls us unto any of those things which are peculiarly dreadful to our natures, He will give us such supplies of spiritual strength and patience as shall enable us to undergo them, if not with ease and joy, yet with peace and quietness beyond our expectation.”
January 2012: Singapore
Jan 7: Seminar: Lord, Flip This House.
For info: email Janet Yap: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan 14/15: Eternal Life Assembly, Bukit Timah. Contact: Robert@elassembly.org.sg
Jan 26: International Baptist Church lunch. For info: email Fiona Zakowich: email@example.com
March 10: Women's Day, First Baptist Church, Salem, OR.
April 14: Western Seminary, Portland, OR. Workshop on “Why Can’t He be More Like Me?”
April 21: Women's Seminar on Understanding Men! Beaverton, OR.
Click here for details and to register online
May 11-13: Woodhaven Church, Cannon Beach, OR.
To inquire about Poppy's availability to speak at your event, email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org